Lifesaving by the Numbers

Small Acts Add Up to Make Big Things Happen for Animals

Lifesaving by the Numbers

This is the math reality of animal sheltering – there is a building, animals come in, and animals go out. Since facility capacity is limited, to avoid unnecessary euthanasia, the number of animals going out must equal the number coming in. It’s that simple.

On March 14, 2020, Dallas Animal Services, the third-largest intake shelter in the U.S., began the day with 385 animals in their building. They reported a great start to the day for animals going out – 54 pets adopted. Later that same day, 99 pets came in, meaning they added 45 pets to the existing population of animals in their care. Fortunately, the public also jumped in to foster 31 pets, contributing a great help to the Dallas community and pets in need.

"Act now and take the pledge to save pet lives – adopt, foster, volunteer and/or donate. "

Day to day, shelter leaders make difficult decisions when their daily intake is greater than the number of adopted pets. Moreover, during times of crisis like natural disasters or COVID-19, the need to help pets is greater. We, the community, can make a big difference by helping our local shelter save lives.

There are over 85 million U.S. households that own pets. The ASPCA estimates that 1.5 million animals are euthanized each year. That means that if just 2% of those pet-owning households fostered one pet a year, giving that pet a temporary home while it waits for adoption, we could eliminate unnecessary euthanasia in America’s shelters.

In times of need, many communities have witnessed just how impactful lifesaving can be when we all come together, united, to help save pet lives. But there is still a lot of work to do. Now is the time to step up and help your local shelter – all of us are the solution.

Ways you can help:

Adopt a shelter pet. Discover love and welcome a new best friend to your family. You’ll help save lives by opening up shelter space for another pet in need.

Foster a pet. Reach out to your local shelter and foster a pet temporarily. It’s a fun, rewarding experience and you’ll help a pet experience a home environment before they are adopted.

Volunteer at your local shelter. Shelters need all kinds of volunteers with a variety of skills and knowledge. You could help photograph shelter pets, volunteer to walk shelter dogs, or maybe even help with data entry. Contact your local shelter to see how your skills could help save pet lives.

Make a lifesaving donation. Donate to your local shelter, at Petco, or online to help pets in need in your community and across the country.

Help a stray animal. If you come across a lost pet, consider fostering it temporarily while looking for its owner to help ease the burden on shelters. If your local shelter is unable to locate the owner, you can help by listing the pet on adoption websites like Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet to help find them a loving home.

Market your foster pet. Are you already fostering a pet? Wonderful! Help your animal welfare organization by sending them pictures and video of your foster pet and see if they’d like your help marketing your pet on social media. Capturing your foster pet’s personality outside of a shelter environment can help it get adopted faster.

Shelter needs will undoubtedly continue to evolve, so be patient, be flexible, and take the approach of helping where it is needed most. The need for fostering and adopting is going to vary in each region, so contact your local shelter to learn more about the shelter pets near you. Any way you can help, we at Petco Love, as well as animal shelters across the country, thank you for doing your part to make a difference.

We are all in this together. Let’s all join to save pet lives! Take the pledge today and help be part of the solution at